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Nairobi, Kenya

Thow A.M.,University of Sydney | Quested C.,Nutrition Section | Juventin L.,British Petroleum | Kun R.,Ministry of Commerce | And 2 more authors.
Health Promotion International | Year: 2011

A tax on soft drinks is often proposed as a health promotion strategy for reducing their consumption and improving health outcomes. However, little is known about the processes and politics of implementing such taxes. We analysed four different soft drink taxes in Pacific countries and documented the lessons learnt regarding the process of policy agenda-setting and implementation. While local social and political context is critically important in determining policy uptake, these case studies suggest strategies for health promotion practitioners that can help to improve policy uptake and implementation. The case studies reveal interaction between the Ministries of Health, Finance and Revenue at every stage of the policy making process. In regard to agenda-setting, relevance to government fiscal priorities was important in gaining support for soft drink taxes. The active involvement of health policy makers was also important in initiating the policies, and the use of existing taxation mechanisms enabled successful policy implementation. While the earmarking of taxes for health has been widely recommended, the revenue may be redirected as government priorities change. Health promotion practitioners must strategically plan for agenda-setting, development and implementation of intersectoral health-promoting policies by engaging with stakeholders in finance at an early stage to identify priorities and synergies, developing cross-sectoral advocacy coalitions, and basing proposals on existing legislative mechanisms where possible. © The Author (2010). Source

Cheng C.-H.,Hungkuang University | Huang S.-C.,Toko University | Chiang T.-Y.,Nutrition Section | Wong Y.,Chung Shan Medical University | Huang Y.-C.,Chung Shan Medical University
BioMed Research International | Year: 2013

Critically ill patients experience severe stress, inflammation and clinical conditions which may increase the utilization and metabolic turnover of vitamin B-6 and may further increase their oxidative stress and compromise their antioxidant capacity. This study was conducted to examine the relationship between vitamin B-6 status (plasma and erythrocyte PLP) oxidative stress, and antioxidant capacities in critically ill surgical patients. Thirty-seven patients in surgical intensive care unit of Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan, were enrolled. The levels of plasma and erythrocyte PLP, serum malondialdehyde, total antioxidant capacity, and antioxidant enzyme activities (i.e., superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione S-transferase, and glutathione peroxidase) were determined on the 1st and 7th days of admission. Plasma PLP was positively associated with the mean SOD activity level on day 1 (r=0.42, P<0.05), day 7 (r=0.37, P<0.05), and on changes (Δ (day 7 - day 1)) (r=0.56, P<0.01) after adjusting for age, gender, and plasma C-reactive protein concentration. Higher plasma PLP could be an important contributing factor in the elevation of antioxidant enzyme activity in critically ill surgical patients. © 2013 Chien-Hsiang Cheng et al. Source

Mimura A.,Nutrition Section
[Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health | Year: 2010

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the educational effects of a single leaflet distributed once without explanation of its content. METHODS: All the 58 seniors on a dietitian course and all the 81 students who took "health and nutrition" as their elective in a women's university in F Prefecture were recruited. They were assigned to intervention or control groups. Both groups were asked the following choice questions in a baseline survey: "What do you think about alcohol drinking during pregnancy?" "What do you suppose you yourself will do in the future?" and "Do you know about the fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)?" One month later, a leaflet was distributed to the intervention group only. One week after the distribution, a second questionnaire was administered to both groups. The leaflet and the two questionnaires were distributed and collected during class with the help of teaching staff. The leaflet was made by a NPO and it recommended stopping drinking when planning to become pregnant. RESULTS: The participation rate was 83%. There were no significant associations between groups and grades, current drinking habit, and learning experience on this topic. Almost 80% of the intervention group read the leaflet. Change in their thinking about drinking during pregnancy before and after the intervention did not significantly differ between the two groups. Compared to 57 controls, 66 students who received the leaflet showed significant improved changes in their attitudes toward drinking during pregnancy and the knowledge about FAS. CONCLUSIONS: No significant change in their thinking about drinking during pregnancy could be due to the fact that, even before the intervention, nearly 80% of the students thought pregnant women must abstain from alcohol entirely. This might be related to the sample characteristics, since 75% of them were majoring in nutrition. The improvement in attitudes was considered to reflect the content of the leaflet. In the intervention group, the percentage of the students who chose the alternative of "I plan to stop drinking when I wish to get pregnant" increased as the leaflet recommended and more than half of them said they learned about FAS by this leaflet. To sum up, even a single distribution of a leaflet in a school setting had educational effects which improved attitude and knowledge. Since the current sample seemed to have particular knowledge and interest in health, it is now necessary to examine effects of the same approach in the general population. Source

Thow A.M.,University of Sydney | Heywood P.,University of Sydney | Schultz J.,National Food and Nutrition Center | Quested C.,Nutrition Section | And 2 more authors.
Ecology of Food and Nutrition | Year: 2011

This article describes pathways through which trade policy change in two Pacific Island countries has contributed to changes in the food supply, and thereby to the nutrition transition. The effect of various trade policies from 1960 to 2005 on trends in food imports and availability is described, and case studies are presented for four foods associated with the nutrition transition and chronic disease in the Pacific. Trade policies (including liberalization, export promotion, protection of the domestic meat industry and support for foreign direct investment) have contributed to a reduced availability of traditional staples, and increased availability of foods associated with the nutrition transition, including refined cereals (particularly polished rice and white flour), meat, fats and oils, and processed food products. This study suggests that promoting healthier imports and increasing production of healthier traditional foods, in both of which trade policy has an important effect, has the potential to improve diets and health, in conjunction with other public health intervention. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source

Talley L.E.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Boyd E.,Nutrition Section
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Background and Objectives: Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, infant and young child feeding was identified as a priority nutrition intervention. A new approach to support breastfeeding mothers and distribute ready-to-use infant formula (RUIF) to infants unable to breastfeed was established. The objective of the evaluation was to assess the implementation of infant feeding programs using RUIF in displaced persons camps in Port-au-Prince, Haiti during the humanitarian response. Methods: A retrospective record review was conducted from April-July, 2010 to obtain data on infants receiving RUIF in 30 baby tents. A standardized data collection form was created based on data collected across baby tents and included: basic demographics, admission criteria, primary caretaker, feeding practices, and admission and follow-up anthropometrics. Main Findings: Orphans and abandoned infants were the most frequent enrollees (41%) in the program. While the program targeted these groups, it is unlikely that this is a true reflection of population demographics. Despite programmatic guidance, admission criteria were not consistently applied across programs. Thirty-four percent of infants were undernourished (weight for age Z score < - 2) at the time of admission. Defaulting accounted for 50% of all program exits and there was no follow-up of these children. Low data quality was a significant barrier. Conclusions: The design, implementation and magnitude of the 'baby tents' using RUIF was novel in response to infant and young child feeding (IYCF) in emergencies and presented multiple challenges that should not be overlooked, including adherence to protocols and the adaption of emergency programs to existing programs. The implementation of IYCF programs should be closely monitored to ensure that they achieve the objectives set by the humanitarian community and national government. IYCF is an often overlooked component of emergency preparedness; however to improve response, generic protocols and pre-emergency training and preparedness should be established for humanitarian agencies. Source

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